Hi I'm John Walters, partner and the head of the Commercial & IT department. Commercial contracts are the legal glue which hold together the day-to-day trading activities of businesses, from the simplest terms and conditions of sale to very complex arrangements. Before launching into any new arrangement its worth giving me a quick call, you may be glad you did.
Terms and Conditions
These are the basic legal cornerstone of any business, and set out the way in which your business does its day-to-day trade with other businesses. They can offer valuable legal protection, and if you do not have properly drafted and legally up-to-date terms and conditions, which properly reflect the actual way that you do business, then you are at risk.
Terms and Conditions can help you set out when you will paid and give you ways to help achieve prompt payment; ring-fence exactly what you are responsible for doing or providing; and limit both the circumstances when your trading partner can claim against you, and the size of any claim. Most trading businesses will require both purchasing and trading t&c’s. These are slanted differently, to help protect your position, whether you are buying or selling goods or services.
Trade with consumers (non-business customers) is subject to special legislative protection. Business terms and conditions will not be appropriate for consumers, in many circumstances infringing their statutory rights. When trading with consumers remotely, for example online or via tele-sales, you are also subject to distance selling legislation. We can advise on all aspects of contracting with consumers, and provide appropriately adapted documentation for you.
Your trading partners are likely to have their own terms and conditions in place which will strongly protect their position, and may place your business at a considerable disadvantage. It is important that you integrate your terms and conditions properly into your business process, to ensure that your terms have the best chance of prevailing in a dispute, and we provide detailed advice on how to achieve this.
Supply and Framework Agreements
From time to time your business may do specific one-off deals which differ substantially from your normal trading, and for which your terms and conditions may not be adequate.
We can help you with specific one-off agreements with customers or suppliers, which may, for example, involve a framework arrangement whereby a series of orders (possibly for variable quantities or types of good or services) are called-off over a period of time whilst that contact is in place, without the need to keep re-agreeing legal terms for each new consignment.